Your first couple of years will be “just not that good”

This dude is one of my favorite human beings of all time. He’s authentic, inspiring, and humble. I’m so attuned to this guy.

He reminds me what I consider to be the best advice ever on creativity. Check out the video below. It’s a must watch before you go on reading, regardless if you consider yourself creative or not!

For most of my life, I’ve been cheating on myself. The creative process is unique in that there are absolutely no shortcuts. The obstacle is the path, as Ryan Holiday says. (He went so far as to tattoo this message on his forearm.)

The irony is that the only way to develop is to actually do creative things. You can’t just think about it. Nor can you just watch creative things.

Consuming creatively, that is intaking visual, audio, or any sensory data that stretches our imagination and adds another dimension to our worldly view, is necessary. But like any diet, you gotta be responsible. 2

For a long time, I’ve ran away from creative problems and stuck to problems I **knew** I couldn’t fail at. Thereby, failing anyways because I do nothing new that challenges me to grow.

I’m saddened a bit. A truth I’m realizing more and more is that this habit has most likely impaired all my relationships.

When things get hard, I bail. It pains me just to write this because it’s also representative of how I deal with relationships.

But I don’t have to live that way anymore. I refuse. And if you feel the same way, then you too can also leave that behind. Just decide and then truly stand for it.

Be unwavering in the face of challenge and adversity. Have meaningful aims. And aim high.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

– Ira Glass

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *